Magic in the United States, a new podcast by Heather Freeman of U. of North Carolina-Charlotte, has just launched. As one of her panel of advisors, I have had the opportunity to listen to several episodes. They are well-organized and not t00 long (usually under 30 minutes). So far I have heard about the famous murder of a Pennsylvania Dutch pow-wow doctor and the beginnings of Spiritualism — it’s a wide-reaching show.
Here is the 3-minute trailer, if you need more convincing..
The local alt-weekly, Queen City Nerve, interviewed her about the project:
Magic can mean different things to different people. For many, it’s reserved for those fantastical worlds seen on screen, but for others, it’s not so far removed. For Heather Freeman, its proximity to our world is something she seeks to explore in her podcast Magic in the United States: 400 Years of Magical Beliefs, Practices, and Cultural Conflicts.
The podcast, which explores spiritual and mysterious concepts throughout the country starting from the 1600s to the present day, launched on Oct. 24, with a new episode airing every Tuesday
“It really spans the gamut. So I started putting together a proposal for a podcast series to do this project looking at magic in the United States,” she recalled. “There’s tons of podcasts about witchcraft, about ceremonial magic, and then also about religious practices that get called magic. But historically, calling these practices magic is a racist pejorative.” . . . .
Freeman said exploring why certain practices get called magic while the word “religion” is reserved for more mainstream practices is at the heart of her podcast.
“This question of ‘What is religion?’ is really challenging,” she said. “If most people understand religion as one of these major monotheisms, they’re missing a lot.”